Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Jeffrey A. Carver's most recent novel, Eternity's End, was a finalist for the Nebula Award. He's written more than a dozen novels, including his critically acclaimed novelization of Battlestar Galactica.

He applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, Sunborn, and reported the following:
In Sunborn we follow a number of relationships that have been developing over several novels of The Chaos Chronicles—in particular, relationships between the human John Bandicut, his robots Napoleon and Copernicus, the quarx Charlie inhabiting his mind, and his alien companions Ik, Li-Jared, and Antares. At the moment, they are careening toward a collision with cosmic forces, as they have been dispatched to investigate trouble in the Orion Nebula—trouble that threatens the lives of sentient stars, and possibly nearby worlds, as well, including Earth itself.

On page 69 we find Bandicut and Antares, the humanoid Thespi third-female, enjoying a quiet moment together after the company's harrowing escape from a disintegrating space station. With their companions, they have boarded a spacecraft of unknown alien design, bound for the Starmaker (Orion) Nebula. The "halo" Delilah has shown them to their sleeping quarters.

"John Bandicut," Antares murmured at last, pressing her forehead to his neck, "I am frightened, a little."

"Just a little?"

"More than a little."

He took a deep breath. "Me too."

"But I am glad to be here with you, instead of alone..."

Antares stared up into space. Her forehead, framed by thick auburn hair, was drawn in thought. Her eyes shone, thin gold irises floating over ebony pupils. Her mouth crinkled in response to his smile. Her gaze shifted to meet his, and the furrows faded from her brow. "John Bandicut—do you remember, back on the world of the Neri, when we were—" rasp "—intimate?"

He chuckled. "Did you think I was likely to forget?"

She hiccupped a laugh. "No, not really. But I wondered... how are you feeling about it now?" She tapped his chest with her forefinger. "I don't know what sticks in your human mind and what doesn't."

"Well, that does...."

Indeed it does. Bandicut is still trying to make sense of his new place in the his mission to spare Earth from a comet (in Neptune Crossing) resulted in his being flung out of the solar system and into an alien civilization the likes of which he couldn't have imagined. He didn't lose just his home when he was exiled; he lost a newfound love, Julie Stone, whom he seems likely never to see again. He might have appreciated the refrain, "Love the one you're with..."

But sometimes that seems beside the point, as there are those intelligent stars out there that are dying, and some very strange beings about to join them in their quest.
Visit Jeffrey A. Carver's website and blog.

Get a free PDF of Sunborn and the books in the Chaos Chronicles that precede it at

Check out the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue